Growing Baby Bellies and Round Ligament Pain

round ligament

Pregnancy comes with its fair share of aches and pains, including back pain, nausea, heartburn, and swollen ankles.  Another uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating condition that some moms-to-be experience is Round Ligament Pain (RLP).  The diagnosis is lesser-known, but it is typically an odd sensation around a baby bump that many pregnant individuals contend with.

What Exactly Is Round Ligament Pain?

Round ligament pain is an achy, crampy, or sharp pain felt on either side of your abdomen, hips, or groin when pregnant. Round ligament pain has also been described as having a pulling sensation.   Round ligaments are two “ropes” of connective tissue attaching and stabilizing your uterus to your pelvis. Any rotation or restriction in your pelvis can lead to tension in your round ligaments, with a growing belly amongst them.

Up to 30% of pregnancies are impacted by round ligament pain, making it a fairly common cause of pregnancy discomfort. Round ligament mainly occurs during the end of the first trimester and into the second trimester.

Symptoms of Round Ligament Pain

Round ligament pain can vary, but the pain is often described as:

  • Achy
  • Crampy
  • Radiating
  • Pulling sensation 
  • Sharp Spams
  • Stabbing
  • Labor-like pains

These sensations can be felt on one side of your growing belly—or both. The pain is generally concentrated in the lower abdomen and groin. It often lasts just a few seconds, but sometimes round ligament pain can persist for longer.

Treatments for Round Ligament Pain

While round ligament pain can occur while a baby is developing in utero, here are some helpful do’s and don’ts:

  1. Lean forward and place your hands under your belly bump if you’re going to laugh, sneeze, or cough.
  2. Avoid laying flat on your back. Try a side position where knees are bent and pillows are placed between your legs and under your belly.
  3. Change positions slowly. Do not rapidly or abruptly stand up or get out of bed.
  4. Do not lift heavy items.  Any additional weight can add unwanted stress to the pelvic area.
  5. Wear an elastic belly band. It supports a growing bump.
  6. Stay active. While rest is essential, participating in yoga, swimming, and walking activities can keep your hips from getting stiff, which occurs with inactivity.
  7. Try not to stand for long periods.  Standing for longer intervals can put undue stress on the affected area.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Moms-To-Be Who Are Experiencing Round Ligament Pain

The hormone relaxin, which is released gradually into your system as pregnancy progresses, can cause instability and unbalanced areas in the body.  Keeping your spine and pelvis properly aligned is important to provide the baby optimal room to develop and, for mommas-to-be, a balanced body functioning at its best.

Dr. Lydia + Dr. Bethanie are both Webster certified, which gives them the knowledge to balance your pelvis and its surrounding tissues (round ligaments included) during your pregnancy.

Schedule a visit for chiropractic care at Vaida, and let us help you proactively keep any pregnancy discomforts at a minimum.

Share this post: